Used as a reliever both on the US National Team and with the Illini, Jay is an athletic, 6'1", 175 lb. southpaw with at least two plus pitches. He employs an athletic, lower body delivery to zip fastballs into the strike zone in the mid 90s. Jay has been flat-out dominant as a reliever for the Illini, and is not just a one-inning pitcher, having thrown 49.1 innings in 23 appearances. He has posted an unreal 54/4 K/BB ratio and has allowed only 26 hits, an astounding 22 of which have been singles. With those peripherals, it's no surprise that Jay has a minuscule 0.73 ERA to go with them.
From a scouting perspective, Jay holds up very well. His 93-95 MPH fastball, which can touch the upper-90s with big time arm side run, and his plus slider stand out as his best offerings. Jay's fastball, which has little downward motion, often fools hitters into swinging under it. In his current role he rarely has to throw his other offerings, but Jay also shows a curveball that shows promise and has begun experimenting with a changeup as well.
Though Jay has been used as a reliever because of his high velocity and 6'1" frame, some teams may look at Jay as a starter, much like the Reds did with Nick Howard when they selected him in the first round last year. Jay is more thrower than pitcher at the moment, but with patience he could refine his pitchability and turn into a middle of the rotation starter. With plus stuff, athleticism and an outstanding college track record, Jay is likely to slot in highly on most draft boards come June.
Jay will either be a fast riser as a late inning reliever, or a longer-term project who could develop into a #3 starter.
Projected Draft Round
Late first to second round
Will he sign?
Unless he is promised a spot in the Illini's starting rotation in 2016 and feels he can improve his stock, Jay is unlikely to turn down the money he is sure to be offered post-draft.
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